The relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is central to the play. The following are the main stages of their relationship. It demonstrates just how quickly it is destroyed by the events of the play.

Macbeth meets the witches

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are on exactly the same wavelength - so close they can almost read each other's thoughts when they are apart.

Planning the murder

Their relationship becomes even more intense - a passionate, obsessive, almost sexual excitement exists between them at this time.

The morning after the murder

Lady Macbeth appears shocked by Macbeth's killing of the guards. Suddenly she feels the situation is getting out of control and Macbeth is becoming more violent. This is the first time we sense they are growing apart.

After the coronation

The time before the banquet is troubled. They are not sleeping. Macbeth begins to plan and think alone and shuts out Lady Macbeth from his thoughts.

The banquet

Lady Macbeth can do nothing to help him. At the end of the scene, she and her husband are no longer a partnership. He is determined to go back to the witches; all she can do is try to make him normal again.

After the banquet

There follows a long period when all Lady Macbeth can do is watch as Macbeth continues killing.

Lady Macbeth's madness and death - the isolation and the guilt have driven her mad.

Macbeth's death

Macbeth realises his life no longer has any meaning and calmly faces his own death at the hands of Macduff.

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